Fireworks Safety Tips: Keeping Families Safe on Canada Day and 4th of July

Following fireworks safety tips are important if you want to make it through the holidays unscathed!

Fireworks Safety Tips: Keeping Families Safe on Canada Day and 4th of July

With Canada Day and the 4th of July around the corner, the majority of North America will be celebrating during the whole first week of July! That means fun family picnics, delicious food and, of course, fireworks! While fireworks are beautiful and fun to look at, they can also be incredibly dangerous if they’re not used correctly. Keep the entire family safe with these fireworks safety tips. Believe me, the emergency room is the last place you want to spend your holiday! Especially since there are going to be hundreds of people who don’t follow even the most basic fireworks safety tips and end up with serious injuries!

Keep your whole family safe with these fireworks safety tips

  • Obey the law.  Different areas have different rules on fireworks. In some regions, buying fireworks that go up into the sky is against the law. In Pennsylvania, where I live, we have stores that sell those types of fireworks to people with out-of-state licenses. We can’t even enter them and they can’t be used here. Know your laws because if you get caught setting off the wrong kind of fireworks, you can get a big fine.
  • Do not, under any circumstance, allow your child to play with fireworks. Plain and simple, it is just dangerous to let your child be the one to light them, hold them or do anything other than look at them from a safe distance. This is really the most important of the firework safety tips for keeping little ones safe. Even sparklers can be extremely dangerous, reaching temperatures hot enough to melt gold. If you do allow your older child to play with sparklers, keep a close eye on them.
  • Keep fireworks away from your home.  If you do live in an area where you are permitted to set off fireworks that go into the sky, make sure you do it in an area where you can aim them away from homes and forests. The  National Fire Protection Association responds to over 50,000 fires that are directly related to fireworks. On particularly dry, windy days, it doesn’t take much to destroy an entire home or forest.
  • Don’t trust a “dud.” Just because the firework seems like a dud (doesn’t light and go off) doesn’t mean it is. Once you light a firework, it’s done. Don’t try to relight it if it doesn’t perform as expected. In some cases, the ignition fuse may be deeper in the firework or have another reason for a delayed reaction time. This means it can go off unexpectedly. Douse the dud in water before you go near it, just in case.
  • Soak them before you toss them. Fireworks can be very hot even after they have gone off. Don’t allow your children to pick them up. Have a responsible adult pick up the remnants and soak them in water before throwing them away.
  • Don’t forget your furry family members! Pets, especially dogs, can be very sensitive to fireworks. The noise can be terrifying! Make sure your pets are locked safely inside, preferably in an area where they can’t hear the noise too much. Turn your TV on for them if you don’t have such an area. Check on them frequently during the festivities and reassure them that the noise in the sky hasn’t eaten the entire family.
  • Leave it to the professionals. Rather than trying to set off fireworks yourself, head to a local display created by professionals. You can still enjoy the smaller “consumer” fireworks at home, such as sparklers and the little ones that spin around on the ground. Of course, all fireworks safety tips still apply even with those!
  • Consider laser light shows instead. If your child is particularly sensitive to noise or scared of fireworks, consider checking out a laser light show instead. Many towns and cities offer them as an alternative to fireworks displays. They’re definitely much safer and less likely to frighten small children.

Even if you follow all the fireworks safety tips to the letter, accidents can still happen. If your child, or anyone else for that matter, is injured by fireworks, seek immediate medical attention. When it comes to eye injuries caused by fireworks, the best thing to do is make sure the area isn’t touched in any way at all. No rubbing, no flushing, no ointment. For most people, your first reaction is to flush with water, and this can actually cause more damage to the eye. Kids Health by Nemours recommends cutting the bottom off of a plastic cup and placing it around the eye to protect it.

Fireworks are a major part of both Canada Day and 4th of July traditions. When left to the professionals, they can be incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring.  However, no amount of beauty and awe is worth risking lives. Use common sense when using fireworks. Really, all of the fireworks safety tips come down to that one thing: common sense. If it doesn’t seem like a good idea, it’s not.

What are your feelings on fireworks safety? Do you set off fireworks at home or go to a professional show?

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About Nicole Etolen

Nicole Etolen is the Editor-In-Chief of OurFamilyWorld and its sister site, MyKidsGuide. She is also a blogger and former Certified Nurses Aide. She's been writing most of her life and realized that she could combine her writing talents with her medical knowledge to help others in a new way. Nicole is also the owner of PrettyOpinionated.com. When she's not writing 12 hours a day, she enjoys reading and spending time with her very cool son.

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